Monday, February 1, 2010


Joshua felt sick in the stomach - looking over his shoulder, the distant lights of Pharaoh’s army could only mean one thing. They had taken the bait.

He had hoped the Egyptians would turn around and go home, but Pharaoh was just as stubborn as he was cruel. The more Joshua thought about it, the more it didn’t make sense. What kind of man would fight against God?

Someone who thinks he IS God, thought Joshua.

With no children or elderly, the Egyptians were moving much faster than the Hebrews. Word of their chase soon spread amongst the crowds, and although everyone knew better, the more they panicked the slower they seemed to go.

“Why doesn’t God stop them?” someone shouted. “What happened to the pillar of fire?”

“Calm down, just move as fast as you can,” Joshua reassured. “Only a few miles to go. No need to look back.”

“Lord, deliver us from Pharaoh!“ cried a tiny old man, standing in Joshua’s way with arms raised to the heavens. “By your mighty hand, smite him with plagues, and fire and brimstone and send the Angel of Death to...”

“Excuse me sir,” Joshua interrupted.

“Send the Angel of Death to pour out your wrath on them...”

“Excuse me Sir! The Almighty is quite capable of all that and more, and I’m sure he appreciates your prayers - but please, move along. We’ve no time to spare. Really, no time at all.”

Easier said than done.

Even for Joshua, it was tempting to look back and despair at the very time when they needed the courage to run.

“Run! All of you, RUN!” shouted Joshua.

In those final hours of darkness, Joshua rounded up the last of the weary stragglers - hoisting children on the backs of smelly oxen, and nursing mothers onto carts of squashed grapes. Better to arrive safely in a mess, than suffer death at the hand of Pharaoh.

By the early light of dawn, the last Hebrew tribe reached the other side of the Red Sea. Tired and sore, vast columns of people staggered out from the ocean and onto the beach with tears of joy. But Joshua knew there was not a moment to spare. The Egyptians were hot on their heels, just a mile away, charging like men possessed.

Reaching safety of the beach, Joshua wearily climbed off his horse and was heartily greeted by Moses and Caleb.

“Well done!” said Moses embracing him.

“You’ve got everyone?” asked Caleb.

“Yes of course,” Joshua gasped, still catching his breath. “Moses, close back the waters. Quickly, please.”

“Do you know for sure?” Moses replied.

Joshua looked back towards the ocean, only to realize his deepest fears. A few hundred yards away, three terrified young children were so exhausted they could barely move.

“Good Lord,” gasped Caleb, “we can’t let the Egyptians reach us.”

Ignoring his tired body, Joshua scrambled back onto his horse and galloped to the rescue. He jumped off his saddle and grabbed the two smallest, a six year old girl and her little brother. Hoisting them up on his saddle, he slapped his horse soundly on the rump and sent it charging to safety.

Caleb arrived on horseback in the nick of time.

“Quickly, take him,” yelled Joshua lifting the last child up into the saddle.

“What about you?” replied Caleb.

“Don’t worry about me. Just go!” Joshua shouted.

The sound of the Egyptians cursing and cracking whips echoed loudly behind them.

Joshua sprinted towards the shore with all the strength he could muster. He dared not look back at the hideous sounds behind him, for fear of tripping and not having the strength to get back up. Gasping for air and quivering with exhaustion, he finally reached the beach and collapsed on the sand.

“They should have... should have...killed me.”

“Look at their chariots!” said Caleb, helping Joshua to his feet. “The wheels are falling off.”

Moses stepped forward and lifted his rod out over the water.

“The Almighty has done this. Our God is an awesome God.”

1 comment: